I wish I could remember exactly the thoughts that ran through my head as I tossed and turned yet another night away. Sarah and Uncle Wes were heavy on my heart, and a piece of me began to dread to go home. Home is where reminders of them lay. Home means dealing with their loss, that they are not around anymore. And the scariest part about it all, is that I am beginning to forget them.
I feel like I focused so much on Sarah's death that I completely avoiding dealing with Uncle Wes's. And now, almost three years later, it has slipped away that he is actually gone. Never again will I get to fall into his big hugs. I cannot remember what his laugh sounds like, or his deep deep voice. I can't tell you his favorite meal, or even his birthday. I only know that when we get together with family, he won't be there.
I now know that he was not a perfect man, nor is life perfect. He may not have been the best man, but he was my Uncle Wes and I miss him. In the end, when his days were few, he cared most about sharing his love.
I remember our last Christmas together. I complained about having to spend a whole day, driving to Eugene, and having a meal with the whole family. I sat on the opposite side of the table as him. He looked tired, and you could tell this was his biggest outing in a long time. We took a family picture that day. I am not sure who took it, but I wonder where it went. I'd like to see that. We said our goodbye's. I said "Merry Christmas," as if this occassion was the same as all the others.
It wasn't. Those would be my last words to him. My last hug.
Staying in Seattle would mean avoiding the anniversary's that bring pain. Avoiding thinking about the days and years that have passed. So many without even a thought of him not being there.
It never does get easier. As sad as it is to say that, I am being honest. Slowly, you will think about it less, and more and more time will pass between your thoughts, or your "hard days," but those hard days never get any easier. Your heart still aches for one more hug. One more chance to say I love you.
As I lay in bed last night, I think of the main thing I have learned through loss: to love.
Time is short.
No doubt about it.
Never miss a chance to tell someone you love them.
So even a couple minutes after the lights went out, I felt the need to break the silence and tell Bryn I loved her. She may never know the significance of this action, in reality she probably just wanted to go to bed, and be left alone.
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides,
That it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you rink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.